Like Kings

By Blue C.

Disclaimer: Don't be stupid. This story depicts homosexual males kissing, dancing, having sex, and other activities that they find enjoyable. If that is not your thing, then really, why are you here?

Copyright 2003-5 by the author. This story is not to be posted anywhere without the author's permission.

Part 5- "It's in his Kiss"

Jake couldn`t think of a better day for a soccer game. The temperature steadfastly refused to drop below 65 degrees, despite the clouds that had dotted the sky over Sierra since the previous afternoon. The clouds were of the dark, low hanging sort, heavy with the promise of rain; a promise they made good on as the visiting team arrived by bus at Sierra. The rain was barely there at first, but had progressed to a light shower by the time the game actually commenced, and showed no signs of slacking off anytime soon. Jake knew that by tomorrow there would be flood warnings, but for today's game it was paradise. There was nothing like playing soccer in the rain; the cool droplets running down the hot bodies of the players, coating each of them with a mixture of rain, sweat and tears. And mud of course, lots of mud, as kids that got a little too fancy with their footwork were betrayed by the slippery soil. Drew was one of these kids, to Jake's amusement. Drew was famous for his slide tackles, but his normally tight control was lost in the mud, and only minutes after the game started Drew's blue and silver uniform was almost caked with grass and mud. Drew couldn't possibly have heard Jake's snickers from across the field, but he seemed to know about them anyways, glaring in Jake's direction after every fall as if Jake had caused the mishap. Jake didn't take him seriously though, he could see the smirk that Drew didn't quite manage to hide. Drew was having as much fun in the rain as Jake was.

Jake felt the day was perfect for another reason as well. Grades had come in last week, as they have to eventually, and Sierra's Varsity soccer team had been pruned slightly by ineligibility. Drew naturally had no problem remaining eligible, as he was more brain than jock anyways. And thanks to his influence, Jake had found himself with the first straight A report card of his life. His mom was thrilled with the change, and started treating Drew like he walked on water. Jake giggled every time he thought about it, and got very happy about how the grades affected the team. Two midfielders had been lost, and so Jake was bumped up to a starting position alongside Drew, instead of being his back-up. Today was the first day the new lineup had been put into practice, and Jake was determined to show the coach that the field, and not the bench, was where he really belonged.

He was doing rather well towards that end.

"Sierra Scores!" shouted the announcer, trying to be heard over the screaming cheers for the home team. Jessie, sitting next to him, smiled wryly at his attempts, and marked the goal in the team score book. 'At least,' she thought, 'he doesn't have to scream over quite so many people today.' Barely a tenth of the usual crowds turned out for today's game, as many fans of the soccer team were not fans of the weather. It was amazing to Jessie how so many people, especially in her gender, could be bothered by a little water. Denise, sitting next to her, was sure as hell not pleased by the situation. But she'd attended every soccer game of Jake's, and would continue to do so, even if they had not spoken to one another since Monday morning. As his girlfriend, it was her duty to be supportive, especially with him in a starting position. And to keep her company, she'd dragged Jessie, as Cory's girlfriend along. Jessie found herself wishing most of the game that Denise had decided to stay home out of the rain to "teach Jake a lesson." At least then Jessie wouldn't have to listen to her bloody whining. Jessie sighed at the thought, and realized that most of the people in the stands were probably being as whiny as Denise. Even the truly devoted fans looked ready to rush home as soon as the final whistle blew. Jessie checked her watch, and realized that they didn't have very long to wait.

On the field, all the players got into position for the last play of the game. Drew and Jake tensed in their positions, both ready to take off like shots the moment they were free. When the goalies gave the okay, the entire field held its breathe, and then the whistle blew, the ball was kicked, and every player exploded into action.

Two steps later, the whistle blew again, four sharp toots that signaled the end of the game. Sierra had won, easily. As predicted by Jessie, the few people in the stands instantly dispersed, with mothers calling to their children to hurry, and the lucky ones with umbrellas clutching to them like they were the key to salvation. The teams had not even lined up to wish their opponents good game before the parking lot began emptying of its occupants.

Jake's mother had been among the first to leave, yelling over her shoulder to get a ride home from Drew. Drew grinned, since she hadn't even asked if he could give Jake a ride home, but he didn't take it personally. Jake's mother was just like that, more likely to rush into a problem head on than to step back and think about it first. Jake was the same way, so Drew appreciated the innocence it required to be that kind of person instead of getting mad about any inconveniences her attitude created. Besides, when it came to Jake, Drew was never inconvenienced. Not that he'd ever let Jake know that.

"Um Drew," asked Jake while they were walking, "Do you think you can give me a ride home?"

Drew gave Jake a long, considering look, before saying, "I don't know. What am I going to get in return?"

Not believing him to be serious for a minute, but feeling the need to play along, Jake appeared to think hard. "Um," he said, "The pleasure of my company?"

Drew shook his head. "Not good enough. Name something else."

"Ten bucks?"

Drew laughed, and made like he was going to walk away. "I'm the one with a job, remember? If you were going to pay me anything, you'd have to borrow the money from me first, and what good would that do me?" He shook his head again. "Nope I think you know what you're going to have to do."

At this point, both of them were walking towards Drew's car. Jake looked confused, and wondered what Drew could be alluding to. "Okay, I give, what am I going to have to do?"

Drew threw his arm over Jake's shoulder. Jake did not object. "Look Peroxide, I think it's time for someone to explain to you how the world really works. In order for me to give you a ride," said Drew, gesturing, "you have to give me a ride."

Now Jake was completely lost. "What the hell does that mean? How am I supposed to give you a.." He trailed of, noticing Drew's slight pelvic thrusts. Forgetting their banter, all activity in Jake's mind seemed to shut down in horror. 'He can't possibly mean...'

Drew seemed to read Jake's thoughts, or at least his expression. He leaned down a little, so as to whisper directly into Jakes ear. His arm left Jake's shoulder in the process. "Don't worry," he said as quietly as he could. "I hear it only hurts for a minute." His falling hand then pinched Jake in the ass.

Jake leapt about three feet into the air, almost knocking Drew over in the process. Jake whirled around to face his older friend, accusations ready to sputter out of his mouth, and he watched as Drew nearly collapsed in laughter. Jake stared at Drew in shock, and then started laughing as well.

"Dude, the look on your face, wow." heaved Drew between laughs. "It was fucking priceless."

"You really had me going there for a minute." said Jake, laughing more out of relief than thinking it funny. He couldn't shake the feeling that he had dodged a bullet anyways.

"Yeah, I did." said Drew, starting to recover. He noticed Jake's mild distress, and so looked the freshman in the eyes. "Hey" he said, holding Jake's chin and moving Jake's face towards his own. "You know I'd never make you do anything you don't want to do. You're my buddy Peroxide. I won't do anything that'll hurt you." Jake was at first unable to respond to Drew's naked sincerity. So instead of talking, he just nodded his thanks and trust, and hoped Drew got the message.

By the looks of Drew's smile, it was clear he did. "Let's get out of this rain." said Drew, walking once again towards his car.

Unbeknownst to them, they had been watched throughout the entire conversation, by more than one set of eyes. Denise was one of the watchers. It can't be, she thought, looking from expression to expression on their faces. She'd long ago formed her own quiet opinion about her boyfriend's apparent worship of Drew, but she'd never thought that Drew felt the same way about Jake. But judging by their mannerisms, and the shy smiles on the faces of both boys, it looked like she'd been a fool. A part of her mind refused to believe such thoughts of course. 'I'm just jumping to conclusions,' that part of her claimed. 'It's probably just a little moment of camaraderie and team spirit, understandable, after right after the most important game of Jake's life so far. I can't even hear what they're saying, so how can I know any different?'

'I don't need to hear what they're actually saying to each other,' said another part of her mind. 'I know what those fucking smiles mean.'

"See something interesting?" asked Cory from behind her. Usually, she would have been startled, and prone to berate him in a annoyingly girlish fashion, but she was too absorbed to care.

"No, not really." she said, still watching the two.

Cory smiled a very, very evil smile. Cory and Drew went way back, since Cory had arrived at Sierra in the middle of his freshman year of high school. They were actually friends at first, and Cory never strayed very far from the side of the much cooler local kid who had befriended him, even signing up for soccer the next season to impress Drew. There was just something about Drew that he couldn't get enough of, and so he followed Drew around like a sad, lost little puppy. Which Drew called him, quite frequently. "My puppy dog" he'd say, petting Cory's mass of soft golden blonde hair like a dog's coat, letting it run through his fingers. Cory let Drew get away with such acts for two reasons. The first was because as demeaning as being called a puppy was, it was by far one of nicest things Cory was called at the time, "Faggot" or "Fairy-boy" being the most frequent. The second reason was that he'd let Drew get away with practically anything, just for being Drew.

There was another reason, one that Cory almost never admitted to, except to himself. That reason was that every time Drew petted his hair, whispering "puppy dog" through his fingers, Cory felt electricity run throughout his body, right down to his groin, making him want to shiver with delight. Cory never breathed a word about that to anyone else, but he felt that Drew at least had known anyways. It was their little secret, one that they would share, but not mention, forever.

Or so Cory had thought. But almost a year after he first arrived at Sierra, something else happened between Drew and him. Something that to this day, neither had ever mentioned again, even to each other. Cory was quite sure that Drew thought of that afternoon as one of the best rolls in the hay he'd ever had, a great fuck he'd laugh about with his future partners in life. He'd describe it as the day he'd taken advantage of the annoying twerp that wouldn't leave him alone, and that he'd finally had to teach a lesson. Cory never asked Drew, but he was certain that was how Drew felt.

But for Cory, it was not only the day he lost his virginity, it was the sole time in his life that he'd made love. It started with a kiss in Cory's bedroom, a timid exchange of breath that turned into hours, and moved to greater heights as the day labored on towards night. After several hours of caresses and kisses, Cory went down on Drew, finally achieving many of the fantasies he'd harbored since meeting Drew a year before. Drew did not wind up returning the favor; Cory had exploded just servicing Drew. Then they'd collapsed into Cory's bed, and slept through the night.

The next morning, a Sunday, Cory found himself in bed alone. Drew had not even left a note, but had hurried out as soon as he'd awakened. Cory tried to phone him, but Drew was apparently not home that day. Drew was apparently not anywhere that day, and did not contact Cory. Cory wasn't worried, not after the antics of the day before, and went to bed that Sunday night contented and smiling.

Nothing could have prepared him for the next day. It was a school day, and so Cory sought out his friend as he had every other day that year. But when he found him, Drew was distant, more distant than he'd ever been before. It was almost as if Cory had suddenly contracted an unsightly disease, and Drew refused to be anywhere near him. Cory did not notice this at first, he was high on love and life, and was for all purposes blind to the world. So he also didn't notice that Drew did not meet his eyes, or that whenever Cory came near, Drew would start walking away. Cory practically chased Drew all over school that day, never really catching him, and the only time Drew spoke to Cory that morning was to say, eyes full of desperation "I can't Cory, I just can't." The sight almost broke Cory's heart, and he decided he had to comfort Drew. He cornered Drew at lunch, while Drew was in the middle of a conversation with about half the soccer team, and was surrounded on all sides by people. Cory came up to him then, and practically plopped himself into Drew's lap, as he'd done hundreds of times before in the past. This time though, Drew did not pet him in response. Drew pushed him off and away, and yelled "Get off me, Faggot!", just in case Cory had not gotten the message with the shove. Cory was so shocked he fell to the ground, unable to react. He looked up at Drew, not believing what Drew had just said. But the love and tenderness that had been in Drew's eyes on Saturday was gone, and Cory would never see it again. Replacing it was anger, hatred, and above all, fear. "Why don't you leave me the fuck alone for once, instead of hanging onto me like a goddamned leach all the time?" Everyone else had turned to watch Drew berate Cory, all conversations ceasing. Most people were looking at Drew like he'd lost his mind, and at Cory with something bordering on pity. Cory saw none of it, his eyes were all for Drew, and for the hatred that seemed to burn within him. Drew said a few more things, called him a few more names, before Cory ran away, away from Drew and school and all the way home without stopping. He cried himself to sleep that night, filled with depression and longing.

When Cory woke up the next morning, he was a changed person. First, he started dating girls, a different one each week, as a way to rinse himself of the taint that was Drew, and to stem the taunts from people who still commented on his orientation. He also started working out, and seeking out friends that would be more flunkies than true equals. Cory resolved to never let anyone be able to hurt as much or cut him as deeply as Drew had, and he'd stuck by that resolution ever since.

He also took every opportunity to hurt Drew and anyone close to him. After all, if he could not have Drew, he'd at least have his revenge. On this rainy October day, he saw such an opportunity in Denise.

He leaned over to her, to whisper conspiratorially without any eavesdroppers. "Do you remember the advice you gave me on Monday, that I shouldn't let my girlfriend run around with another guy, in particular Drew?"

"Yeah" said Denise, wondering what he was getting at. "You said you didn't have anything to worry about. Or not about that, at least."

"Exactly." Cory smiled mentally, as he said the next part. "What I didn't tell you was that even though Drew would never try to steal my girlfriend away from me, I didn't say the same would apply if I had a boyfriend."

Denise's eyes widened. But only slightly. "What do you mean?" she asked, not letting her voice give away what she already feared. It was imperative that she understood exactly what Cory was saying, and not just jump to conclusions, even if they were conclusions she'd already reached. 'It can't be,' she thought again.

Cory looked a little thoughtful to Denise, as if choosing his words carefully. Actually, he was thinking 'Stupid little cheerleader. Should have known I'd have to spell everything out for her.' "Well, let's just say that Jake wouldn't be the first young guy Drew's tried to take advantage of. Sexually I mean."

Denise looked back at Cory in total shock, letting out a gasp before she could control it. Somehow, it had never occurred to her that Jake was not the instigator, and Drew just going along with the ride. She never thought that Jake might be a victim of the older boy's lies and influence. And if her Jake was not willing, it was her duty, as his girlfriend, but also as his friend, to save him. "What can we do to stop it?" she asked, barely above a whisper.

Cory spread his hands wide, taking himself out of the situation. "Hey, I'm just letting you know what's up, there's not really all that much that I, or anyone else can do." He again went into thoughtful mode, and Denise was too keyed up to scream at him to quit dicking around. "What might help is if someone were to tell Jake about the danger he was heading into. Someone he trusted." He looked pointedly at Denise, and said "Like his girlfriend perhaps?"

Denise looked at Cory hard for a moment, trying to tell if he was lying to her or not. She couldn't tell, but she decided she could not afford to be wrong if he wasn't lying. She tore off after Jake, as fast as she could run, screaming his name at the top of her lungs. Behind her, Cory shook his head. 'Stupid little cheerleader,' he thought again. 'Might be good for a fuck though.' Cory laughed to himself, then prepared to head home.

Luckily for Denise, despite the length of her talk with Cory, the two boys had not even reached Drew's car yet. Jake turned around, wondering what the hell was up with Denise. He threw a questioning glance at Drew, who laughed. "Go ahead and deal with your girlfriend. I'll wait a few minutes." said Drew, taking Jake's bag from him to put in the car. Jake nodded his thanks, and ran out to meet Denise. Drew just shook his head in more laughter, muttering "Kids these days." He walked the rest of the way to his car, only to find Braden and Jessie already there and waiting for him.

And was Braden ever pissed!

By the time Denise caught Jake, she was breathless. Being a cheerleader, sprinting had never been one of her most practiced activities, plus shouting all the way to him had not helped. Actually, breathless does not quite go far enough. Denise just about collapsed onto her boyfriend, who had barely broken a sweat on the way over. (He was a midfielder, all they do is sprint.) Jake held Denise to him for a minute, listening as her gasping eased, before asking "What was so important that you tried to kill yourself to tell me?"

"It's-about-Drew" she said, finally able to form words.

"What about Drew?" he asked.

"Don't go with him." she stated.

"What?" he said, thinking she was joking. Then he looked at her dead serious expression, and thought of her mad dash to get to him, and realized she actually meant what she said. "How am I supposed to get home then?"

"I just called my mom and she's on her way. You can get a ride home with us."

To Jake, it seemed an extremely silly demand to make of him, but he'd do it if she insisted. They might be having a rough patch, but she was still important to him. "Okay,  if you want, but I still have to go tell Drew I'm not getting a ride from him."

Denise looked suspicious. "Why?" she asked.

"Two reasons. One, he still has my bag. Two, I don't want to piss him off. You might be here today, but how am I going to get home from all the other stuff my mom ditches me at?"

"Can't you find someone else to give you rides home?" Snapped Denise. She really, really hated acting like one of the brainless bimbos that populated her squad, but sometimes desperate times called for desperate measures. "Like, oh, Cory for instance. He lives in your direction."

Jake shook his head. "Cory's an asshole. There is no way in hell I am getting in a car with him every day."

"Well fine then! Someone else. Anyone! Just not Drew!" She stamped her foot for emphasis, which nearly set Jake to laughing. He held it back, because Denise did not need to be any more psychotic than she already was.

"Why should I find someone else when I have Drew around? What's so bad about him?"

To this, Denise had no immediate answer. Or at least, not one her boyfriend would believe. Or care about. 'What do I have against Drew?' she asked herself. She came up with nothing, and so had to settle with the weak: "I just don't like him hanging around you, is all."

Jake couldn't hold back his laughter that time. Denise had never been what he'd call a "girly-girl", the kind of female that cared about little else besides their hair and their clothes. Yet she was doing a fairly good impression of one, making ridiculous demands out of the blue for no reason other than her own insecurities. Jake felt it probably had something to do with their lack of talk over the last week. He felt bad about it, but he never expected her to jump to this level of insanity. Hell, it was because of moments like this that they had relationship problems in the first place.

Denise, meanwhile, was quite through with the hysterics. In place of pouting, her face contorted to one of pure fury, a rage so apparent heat seemed to rise off her skin, making the still falling rain sizzle and pop. Her look brought his laughter to a screeching halt. "This isn't a laughing matter Jake."

He did the only thing he was capable of doing under such circumstances. He backpedaled like hell. "You're right Denise. I'm sorry I laughed." he said this in the most placating voice in his arsenal, and it seemed to be having the desired effect. "I'm just trying to understand why you're so hung up on my not seeing Drew anymore. I mean, the guy is probably my best friend after you. He's pretty cool to me."

It amazed Denise, on many occasions, just how well Jake was able to talk her down from anger. She knew she got angry, very angry, but somehow Jake had this magic way about him that eased her feelings right out of her and into the open air. That ability alone was reason enough to love him, but he was so much more than just comfort to her. She wanted him to remain with her. Forever. And to do so, she had to be honest. "He worries me. The way he acts around you, I just don't like it."

"What do you mean?" asked Jake.

"I mean, well, I've heard some bad things about him." Jake looked ready to dismiss her arguments if she did not get to a point, so she finally blurted out "Jake, I've heard that he's gay."

Twenty-first century or not, that was one phrase guaranteed to get a reaction out of just about any high school kid. Except Jake, who didn't react at all. Perturbed, Denise continued on. "I heard that he looks for guys, like you, and makes them, um, do stuff with him." Since that wasn't quite the truth, Denise found that she was unable to meet Jake's eyes when she said the last. Instead she looked at the ground, so she missed the first broad grin that flashed across Jake's face, and continued to miss it until he started snickering.

Jake never did have great control over his emotions. Denise was completely floored that Jake could laugh at an accusation like that. It just wasn't a normal way to react. She let him laugh for a bit, before her anger cooled off enough to the point were she started feeling the ever more pouring rain. Then she asked him, "What's so funny?"

"Your little comment." he said. "Look Denise, I don't know what people have been telling you, but Drew just isn't gay. And even if he was, I'm quite safe from his wandering hands."

"But how can you be sure?" she asked, returning to the annoying girly voice they both hated so much.

"Because Denise." he answered, quite calmly, despite his grin. "If he'd wanted to pull something like that, he's had plenty of opportunities to do so. Now tell me darling," She absolutely HATED it when he called her that, and he knew it too. "Who's been whispering tales about the big bad Drew to you?"

Since he was beginning to piss her off again, she answered without thinking, "Cory."

Jake didn't snicker at that. He outright laughed, in the angry-but-trying-to-avoiding-hitting-someone sort of way. "Denise, you really should be smarter than this. Cory hates Drew, everyone knows that. Never believe anything that comes out of Cory's mouth about Drew. You just can`t trust him."

'He's not the only one I can't trust,' she thought. She was no longer just pissed off. She was cold, wet, her hair was a mess, along with her make-up, and Jake refused to believe any of the warnings she was trying to give him. Now she was REALLY pissed off. "Look Jake. I don't want to argue about this right now. In fact, I don't want to argue about it at all. Either stop hanging around Drew, or get a new girlfriend."

She could see the anger building in Jake's eyes in response to that statement. It made her notice things about Jake she'd never appreciated before, like how well developed his arms muscles had gotten over the last year, and how broad his shoulders had become. She also noticed that when Jake got angry, the green in his iris seemed to bleed out, leaving a fleeting flash of pure yellow that reminded her of lightning. It was  a desperate gamble she was playing, and she knew it, but she was also being totally honest. If Jake didn't dodge the train that was bearing down on him, then Denise wouldn't be around to be crushed flat by it too.

A great many things flashed through Jake's mind at that moment, most of which he'd regret saying later. One random thought floated to the surface though, something his mother had said about ultimatums. She'd said that people never give ultimatums to their equals, only to inferiors. If that was how Denise really saw Jake, then his choice was clear, wasn't it?

"Goodbye Denise." he said, turning his back on his now former girlfriend. Only when she was sure he couldn't hear her did she allow herself to cry.

"Braden." said Drew, surprised and slightly annoyed. "What's wrong?"

"I saw you." said the former quarterback between clenched teeth. It took all the effort Drew had to not sigh: "Well that clears things up!"

Instead, he said "What did you see?"

"You. Jake. You were flirting with him." said Braden.

That time, Drew couldn't hold back. "Oh Christ, not this again." he said, exasperated. "How many times I gotta tell ya, I'M NOT AFTER JAKE!"

"It sure as hell didn't look like that to me." snapped Jessie sarcastically.

Drew turned to her. "Do you have a reason to be here?" he asked, angrily. Jessie's jaw dropped open in response. Drew had never been so rude to her before. Braden jumped in before she could fire back her own rude comment.

"Don't change the subject Drew." he said. "What the fuck do you think you're playing at Drew?"

Drew let out his anger in one long breath. "I'm not playing at anything Braden. I swear to you, as I've sworn to you before, that I am not cheating on you with Jake. For one thing, it takes two to cheat, an Jake seems to be relentlessly heterosexual."

This time, Jessie managed to keep her thoughts to herself. 'It didn't look that way to me,' she thought. 'From where I was sitting, the boy was about ready to tattoo your name on his ass.'

Braden was thinking along the same lines, but he didn't have a chance to express them. Drew came up to him then, caressing his cheek. Braden melted, nuzzling Drew's hand a little and closing his eyes, forgetting almost immediately anything he had to say. Jessie had noticed before that Drew had that effect on a fair number of people. He finished Braden off by looking directly into Braden's eyes, inches away from his face, and whispering "I'm with you Braden. Not with Jake, or anyone else. Just trust me, and everything else will be okay one day." Braden was helpless against this assault, and did not even resist when Drew kissed his lips in broad daylight in the middle of a public parking.

It was at that moment that Jessie realized what Drew was doing. As she'd done to so many people in the past, Drew was using his natural sensuality as the quickest way to break down her brother. It amazed her that she had not noticed Drew do so before, even though it was obvious that Drew was not an amateur about it. Hell, he was almost as good at using his looks as she was with hers. Braden didn't stand a chance against him.

She'd barely processed this little tidbit when she heard a loud gasp come from the direction of the soccer field. Braden and Drew heard it too, and leapt away from each like a shot gun had fired between them. All eyes turned towards the gasp, just in time to see the fleeing form head in another direction. All of them instantly recognized Jake, and realized that he'd seen the kiss.

Jessie was naturally the first to recover, but she spoke for all of them. "Oh shit."